Addition of Judd Zulgad highlights programming changes at 1500 ESPN
Get the 1500 ESPN SportsWire delivered to your inbox daily, and keep up with all the news in Twin Cities Sports
After 25 years, Joe Soucheray is leaving the Saturday airwaves.
But "Saturday Morning Sports Talk" and Soucheray's "Garage Logic" will live on, as 1500 ESPN Twin Cities continues its evolution by adding one of the market's leading sports voices.
Dan Seeman, vice president and general manager of 1500 ESPN, on Tuesday announced several changes to the station's programming. Most notable is the hiring of Star Tribune reporter Judd Zulgad as Patrick Reusse's new co-host on "Saturday Morning SportsTalk," which airs from 10 a.m. to noon.
"Growing up in Minnetonka, I remember listening to 'Monday Night SportsTalk' with Reusse and Soucheray and thinking how cool it would be to not only be a sportswriter, but also get to talk about sports on the radio like they did," said Zulgad, who will make regular appearances on "Reusse & Mackey" and other 1500 ESPN programs as well.
"To have the opportunity now to replace Joe and be paired with Reusse is beyond anything I could have imagined. I started at the Star Tribune as a 19-year-old copy boy and was always amazed by Reusse's work ethic and passion for what he did. It's going to be a pleasure to be his on-air partner on Saturdays."
Zulgad, who began covering the NFL for the Star Tribune in 2003, comes highly respected as the lead reporter on the Minnesota Vikings beat. He also writes a TV/radio column and previously was a featured contributor on KFAN radio, another sports-talk station in the Twin Cities metro area.
"Judd is a well-known, connected writer in this market," said Brad Lane, 1500 ESPN's program director. "Everybody knows his work, and anytime you have a chance to add a piece like that -- especially when the Vikings and the NFL are so popular -- you have to do that."
Zulgad replaces Soucheray, who first co-hosted a Sunday night show with Reusse in 1981. They had been together on Saturday mornings since 1985, defining a format -- branded "SportsTalk" -- that didn't previously exist in the Twin Cities.
"Joe and Pat invented sports talk in this market, so it's sad to see the Saturday morning show change," Seeman said. "But we are very excited about adding Judd to the show. I can promise you that the show will keep the same casual, fun and off-the-wall feel that Joe and Pat invented 30 years ago."
Soucheray will continue to co-host "SportsTalk" with Reusse from 3 to 4 p.m. weekdays in addition to hosting "Garage Logic," which will remain on the air from 4 to 6 p.m. His final "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" appearance will be on Feb. 12.
"Everybody's been asking me, 'Do you feel whimsical about this?' Or if I was sad," Soucheray said. "And I suppose I would, if we weren't going to retain that hour a day."
Other changes announced, all effective on Feb. 14 unless noted:
• The highly rated "Reusse & Mackey" show, which airs weekdays from noon to 2 p.m., will expand by one hour and air weekdays from noon to 3.
• Tom Pelissero, 1500ESPN.com's senior editor and columnist, will replace Lane as the co-host of "Sunday Morning SportsTalk" with Jim Souhan from 10 a.m. to noon. Souhan and Pelissero also will co-host "The Ron Gardenhire Show" from 9:30 to 10 a.m. Sundays during Minnesota Twins season.
• The "Home & Garden Show," which aired from 8 to 10 a.m. Saturdays, will be replaced immediately by ESPN Radio programming.
• "The Mutual Fund Show," which airs from noon to 1 p.m. Saturdays, will be replaced by "Money Talk Live with Josh Arnold" starting Feb. 26.